The lab goal is to understand glial function at the animal, cell, and molecular level in order to elucidate mechanisms of normal development and disease progression.
The main research focus includes:
- The role of Golgi outposts in acentrosomal microtubule nucleation in oligodendrocytes. The lab is investigating partner proteins that work in concert with the microtubule nucleator TPPP to organize microtubules. In addition, they are making important observations on the biophysical properties of TPPP and how this can lead to aggregation in neurodegenerative diseases.
- Mechanisms of mRNA transport in oligodendrocytes. The lab is using mouse models to understand the importance of mRNA transport in in vivo myelination. They are also using biochemical and biophysical techniques to identify the molecular players involved in these transport processes.
New topics of interest include: mechanisms of leukodystrophies (myelination diseases affecting children), and cytoskeletal organization of astrocytes and microglia.
Dr. Fu received her B.S. in biology from the California Institute of Technology and her Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Pennsylvania. At UPenn, Dr. Fu joined the lab of Erika Holzbaur, where she worked on mechanisms of axonal transport regulation by adapter proteins that link cargos to motors. She published two first-author papers in the Journal of Cell Biology and Developmental Cell on the role of the adapter protein JIP1 in regulating APP (amyloid precursor protein) vesicle transport and autophagosome transport. She received the Saul Winegrad Prize for Outstanding Thesis in Neuroscience and a F31 NRSA predoctoral fellowship.
Dr. Fu moved to Stanford University to join the lab of Ben Barres for her postdoctoral training. She worked on mechanisms of microtubule organization and mRNA transport in oligodendrocytes and published first-author papers in Cell and PNAS. She received the ASCB (American Society for Cell Biology) Porter Prize for Research Excellence, a postdoctoral fellowship from NMSS (National Multiple Sclerosis Society), and a F32 NRSA postdoctoral fellowship.
Dr. Fu joined NINDS as a tenure-track investigator in Fall 2020, where her lab focuses on studying the cell biology of oligodendrocytes using interdisciplinary techniques with the goal to better understand normal myelin development, and demyelinating and neurodegenerative diseases.
- Meservey LM, Topkar VV, Fu MM. mRNA Transport and Local Translation in Glia. Trends Cell Biol. 2021;31(6):419-423.
- Nguyen H, Meservey LM, Ishiko-Silveria N, Zhou M, Huang TT, Fu MM. Fear Deficits in Hypomyelinated Tppp Knock-Out Mice. eNeuro. 2020;7(5).
- Valenzuela A, Meservey L, Nguyen H, Fu MM. Golgi Outposts Nucleate Microtubules in Cells with Specialized Shapes. Trends Cell Biol. 2020;30(10):792-804.
- Weigel M, Wang L, Fu MM. Microtubule organization and dynamics in oligodendrocytes, astrocytes, and microglia. Dev Neurobiol. 2021;81(3):310-320.
- Nowacki JC, Fields AM, Fu MM. Emerging cellular themes in leukodystrophies. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2022;10:902261.
Related Scientific Focus Areas
Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
This page was last updated on Friday, September 9, 2022